Type

Journal Article

Authors

Edward G. O'Riordan
A.D. Fisher
Bernadette Earley

Subjects

Biology

Topics
immunology animal welfare physiology transport effects body temperature road transport transport relative humidity

Effects of pre-transport fasting on the physiological responses of young cattle to 8-hour road transport (2006)

Abstract The effects of fasting animals for 8 h prior to an 8-h road journey and their ability to cope with the stress of transport were investigated. The treatments were: 1) fasted and then transported (n=20); 2) non-fasted and transported (n=18); 3) non-fasted at grass (n=18); 4) fasted then fasted (n=18), and 5) non-fasted then fasted (n=18). There was no significant difference in rectal body temperature, pre- or post-transport, or live weight among treatments on days 0 (pre-transport), 1, 4 or 10 (post-transport). The ambient relative humidity and temperature of the outside environment ranged from 82.8 to 99.8% and 9.9 to 14.5 oC, respectively. Holstein × Friesian bulls (230 kg) undergoing an 8-h transportation at stocking densities of 0.82 m2/animal showed physiological and haematological responses that were within normal referenced ranges. Animals that were fasted for 8 h and transported lost 9.4% of live weight while non-fasted transported animals lost 7.2%. The control non-fasted animals remaining at grass gained 2% of live weight. Animals that were fasted continuously but not transported and the initially non-fasted control animals that were subsequently fasted for 9 h lost 6.1% and 6.2% of live weight, respectively. There was no significant change in concentrations of globulin, glucose, urea, haemoglobin or fibrinogen, or in haematocrit percentage before or after transport. Transport reduced lymphocyte percentage (P < 0.001) and increased neutrophil percentage (P < 0.001) in the fasted and non-fasted animals. Following transport, protein concentration was greater (P ≤0.001) in the fasted and transported animals than in the non-fasted animals at grass and haptoglobin concentrations were higher (P ≤0.001) in the fasted plus transported animals than the controls at grass. In conclusion, from the physiological and haematological measurements, an 8-h journey time, even without access to feed for 8 h prior to transport did not appear to impact negatively on animal welfare.
Collections Ireland -> Teagasc -> IJAFR, volume 45, 2006
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Animal & Bioscience
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Grassland Science
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Animal & Grassland Research & Innovation Programme
Ireland -> Teagasc -> Irish Journal of Agricultural & Food Research

Full list of authors on original publication

Edward G. O'Riordan, A.D. Fisher, Bernadette Earley

Experts in our system

1
Edward G. O'Riordan
Teagasc
Total Publications: 30
 
2
Bernadette Earley
Teagasc
Total Publications: 120